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Private Houses Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, South Korea - Build completed in 2015

Marimba house is a residence and a studio for three musicians. The given site is one of four lots the client has from the beginning moment of the formation of Yeonhee village of which habitants are mostly of upper-middle class. The four lots are between two parallel streets to which each two lots are aligned. We proposed, for the beginning, a master plan for all of four lots conceiving it as a whole family cluster. This project is the first step of the whole.

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We decided to make the house of wooden structure. The fast completion of the structure was one reason and the ideal solution as an acoustic resolution was another. In the masterplan suggested, on angles of each lot we put a cube mass which meets a slowly inclined pitched roof on two sides cut obliquely on the plan so that when the cluster will be completed would create a well defined courtyard at the center.

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The cube contains lesson rooms on ground floor and three bed rooms on the second floor, plus a small terrace to make a compact private atmosphere. In the meantime, under the pitched roof, a large multi-use space is connected to the living room by stairs.

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The wooden structure is not evident from outside. Ironically we used the cement bricks for the lower part of the pitched roof space and the drivit for the cube. Being conscious of the fact that the red bricks which was very popular materials in the sixties and seventies are dominant in the whole village, we had the drivit painted in strong red_brick colour . A subtle interplay in materials and colours with circumstances we wanted.

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On the other hand, in the interior space of the house, wooden materials are overwhelming. A 1.8m wide wooden louver was laid along the whole length facing the garden in 2.2m height in the way that it roles as a spatial and visual device to put in relationships between the inner and outer spaces. The obliquely cut away part on the plan for the future courtyard is substituted with a large wooden deck to continue into the inner space alluding the wooden finishings of interior spaces.

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The cube meets the pitched roof on two sides. Alongside the whole length, we put the narrow top-lights to make the two different volume evidential and to give the natural lights to the deep inside. The white wall of the cube is supposed to be strongly washed by sun lights at a certain moment of the day.

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Korean upper-middle class village usually has high and strong walls along the streets and neighbors for their privacy. To give a visual breath to neighbors keeping privacy at the same time we needed a specific wall solution. We proposed a thin metal louver arrayed obliquely in 100mm distance with different heights according to the situations. A dense rhythm to the street was another gain.

design team l Kim min ji location l yeonhui-dong, seodaemun-gu, seoul type l architecture, new construction principal use l residential status l completed completion date l 2015 total floor area l 369.91m2 photo l Jongoh Kim

ISON Architects

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Construction Completed, 2010. 05 Location : Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, Korea Use: Club house Site Area: 481,238 sqm Building Area: 264.60 sqm Gross Floor Area: 320.79 sqm Construction: Steel frame structure Building scope: 1F

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JOHO Architecture is an architecture firm established in Seoul by architect Lee Jeong Hoon in 2009. Lee studied architecture and philosophy at Sungkyunkwan University before earning a master’s degree in architectural materials at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nancy and an architects license (D.P.L.G.) at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette.

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In 2010 he was the recipient of the Korean Young Architect Award, and in 2013 his firm was named a ‘Design Vanguard’ by the US architectural magazine Architectural Record, a title awarded to emerging architects. He was awarded the 2014 Fritz Höger Architecture Award (Germany), the 2015 THE PLAN AWARD (Italy), and was also included among the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory (UK).

Interpreting architecture as a part of the humanities, JOHO Architecture bases their philosophy on creating a new identity and discourse in contemporary cities. In addition, architectural materials are set as a unit of ‘geo_metry’ and designs are developed through the grouping, addition and subtraction of these units. This ‘material_metry’ refers to the reinterpretation of a material’s meaning within the context of a site.

JOHO Architecture

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At one time in Korea, the book "botong-ui jonjae" (Normal Being) was a best seller. The beauty that is found in ordinary life is the theme. The emergence of this viewpoint is a natural phenomenon in Korea, which has achieved rapid growth in a short period of time. Through this book, the public reflects on the past that lived without the preciousness of mediocrity, and was comforted by the situation that it became harder to live than before.

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In order to discover beauty from ordinary things, it is necessary to have a poetic sensibility to look back on ordinary things from a different point of view. I started designing with the question of how architecture can enter the world of emotion.

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A paradox of normal form

The project site is plain and the surrounding houses are in various forms. From a different point of view, there was the usual variety. I thought that the paradoxical way of reversing the existing grammar would be effective in feeling special emotions in ordinary scenery. Specifically, the general form is reversed. It is a way to empty the gable roof form in the form of a square box. In other words, it reverses the normal form and intends to ask what is normal.

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The vacated space in the form of a gable becomes one of the sequences going into the house. And let it shine the sunshine indirectly. The vacated space in the form of gaps changes with time, and the feeling of space also changes. The vacated space of the normal form changes with time due to indirect sunlight and creates a point where ordinariness changes into specialty.

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The most important of the client's requirements was the space under the eaves. In the suburban housing, eaves play a very important role. A lot of things that you cannot do in an apartment are possible under the eaves. It is a place where you can do various activities without being influenced by the weather.

I was touched by her husband's affection for her family and wanted to present a special sensibility for her family. It was hoped that it would be a precious thing found in ordinary everyday life. Daily routines will repeat and the landscape of the village will always be the same. When these families got used to life here, they expect that they will occasionally receive special gifts that change over time in ordinary space.

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Architects : Rieuldorang Atelier Location : Manhwa-ri, South Korea Lead Architects : Kim Seongyoul Other participants : Lee Hansae Area : 144.25 m2 Project Year : 2017 Photographs : Yoon Joonhwan Manufacturers : FAKRO, Eden, Canadawood

Rieuldorang Atelier is committed to creative architecture. Creative architecture starts with a new perspective that goes beyond the traditional ideas. A new perspective opens up a unique world view. Rieuldorang Atelier try to express our unique world views in simple language. Because we believe in the power of simple language.

Rieuldorang Atelier







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